Hitting the open road with your family, in a good old-fashion road trip style, sounds like the perfect thing to do during any school break. Imagine the carefree journey where nothing stops you from enjoying some quality time with your dearest ones. Well, that is a picture perfect scene, right? At least it is until you hear “Are we there yet”, “He took my toy” and “Mom, make her stop” from the back seat. Those are usually the moments when the perfect road trip turns into road rage and, in the end, disappointment. But, it does not have to be that way. You can keep the whole family engaged and stress-free. Here is how to do it.
Though school days will be behind you once you start your road trip, you can use the same backpacks to keep your kids interested and amused. Every child should have its own backpack so there won’t be any unnecessary arguments in the car. Fill the backpack with various travel distractions according to each child’s preferences. Those can be crayons and coloring books, crafty items, teddy bears, or even some games. For the older kids, pack a travel magazine so they can keep track of the places and activities.
Carry a Lot of Snacks
“Mommy, mommy, I’m hungry!” If you want to avoid hearing this for a couple of hours, make sure you are well-prepared when it comes to snacks. Pack a cooler full of snacks. Bring sandwiches and similar stuff, just in case there are not any restaurants along the way, but also pack a healthy dose of healthy snacks, just for those eating-just-because-they-are-bored kids’ moments. The cooler should also be within the children’s reach.
Gear Up with Gadgets
If you are going for an all-day trip, be aware that kids will be bored with the backpack distractions very quickly. Just to be sure, take tablets, smartphones, e-readers, and portable DVD players, so you can keep them amused with movies, cartoons, music, and games. Power all the devices up before you get going, and bring an in-car charger, just in case.
Choose the Right Apps
Smart devices are great, but if you do not equip them with the right apps, they might as well be plain old mobile phones. Make sure you choose fun, but also educational games, such as funbrain games, that will stimulate your kids to engage their brains and be active.
Remember your road trip with your parents – fun games and sing-a-long songs. You can play various word games, such as “same letter”, “tongue twisters”, etc. Or, you can just talk with your kids; let them ask you all the things they want to know. A family road trip is a great opportunity for bonding.
Learn About Your Destinations
Before you hit the road, learn something about the destinations you will visit. To keep the kids more engaged, go beyond the basic facts about the destinations and find out some interesting and fun information which you will share with them. For instance, in Melbourne, Australia, it is illegal to drive a goat or a dog attached or harnessed to a vehicle in a place that is public (well, duh).
Hopefully, these few tips will save you from a disappointing and some packing tips will make this road trip so much easier and turn your family adventure into a long-lasting pleasant memory.